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Wines of Esporão, Portugal, hosted by Pedro Lopes Vieira February 7th 2023

Esporão was founded in 1973 by José Roquette and Joaquim Bandeira,

They are one of the leading wine companies in Portugal and one of the largest organic wine producers.

They have  three wineries – Herdade do Esporão in Alentejo,

Quinta dos Murças in Douro and Quinta do Ameal in Vinho Verde –

In Alentejo, all of their vineyards are certified organic, as well as those at Quinta dos Murças, Douro. They own  623ha of organic vineyards – the biggest ownership in Portugal, representing about 18% of total organic production in the country.

We tasted a selection of their wines from their three regions, Vinho Verde, Duoro valley and Alentejo with a matched three course dinner in Frederick’s private room on Tuesday February 7th 2023. Hosted by Pedro Lopes Vieira  Sales Manager at Esporao Wines

Aperitif –

Quinta de Ameal Loureiro

 From the Lima sub-region of Vinho Verde, the birthplace of Loureiro, this vibrant wine really shows the huge potential for this eminently approachable variety. Reminiscent of lemon sherbets, zingy, fresh and lively, yet intense and balanced wine, that will evolve well over the next 15 years

Starter –

Smoked salmon with potato & beetroot salad
Frederick’s Waldorf salad

Monte Velho white

A blend of Antão Vaz, Roupeiro and Perrum from 18-years-old vineyards planted on granite, schist and clay soils. Fresh and balanced, with a firm body, citrus and white fruit characters and no oak.

Herdade do Esporão Reserva white

 An organic blend of Antão Vaz, Arinto and Roupeiro, fermented and matured for 6 months in a combination of tanks and new American and French oak barriques. The calling card for the range with an elegant, creamy palate, notes of peaches and nutmeg.

Main –

Coq au Vin, diced pancetta, mushrooms,
baby onions, mashed potato
Aubergine parmigiana, tomato & mixed leaf salad

Herdade do Esporão Reserva red

Esporão Reserva Red was the first wine launched in 1985 and it still represents the estate’s diverse winemaking history. A true Portuguese blend of native varieties that are fermented separately, then blended together and aged for 12 months in American and French oak barrels, with a further 8 months of ageing in bottle before release. Black fruits, nutty and black pepper notes intermingle on the rich and complex palate that doesn’t disappoint.

Quinta dos Murças Reserva red

This Reserva is from some of the oldest vineyards of the estate, located between 150m and 280m with a south and westerly exposure. Its special terroir gives the final wine its complexity and longevity. Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Sousão, Tinta Amarcela, Tinta Barroca and Tinta Roriz combined with 12 months in oak result in an intense, balanced beauty dominated by black fruits and spice


Pear & almond tart, clotted cream

Quinta dos Murças Tawny port

 A wine with gravitas and history, from the first vertical vineyard planted in the Douro Valley in 1947. One hectare of vines is planted on schist soils at altitudes greater than 262m, with a southeast exposure. The highest expression of the estate terroir, characterized by great harmony and elegance, with fine mature tannins and balancing acidity, with a great ageing potential.

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Grape Treading in the Douro Valley – September 2018


I’ve been fortunate to have visited many stunning wine regions, but there’s always been one I’ve been itching to explore.Since my father and I were celebrating big birthdays, it was ample excuse to finally visit the spectacular Douro valley with vineyards  painstakingly carved out over centuries into the impossibly steep schist slopes. 



Our first stop was to the towering Graham’s Port Lodge in Vila Nova de Gaia, set on the banks of the River Douro. Part of the Symington family holdings, started by two Scottish brothers in 1820, from the wealthy textile family Graham’s. 


A magical place where for hundreds of years ‘rabelos’ traditional wooden Portuguese cargo boats have shipped people and goods up the valley to deliver the port barrels here where temperatures are favourable for slow maturation.

This was a most perilous voyage and many lives were lost, as the river, now tamed by dams was full of ravaging torrents.


Wines tasted

Graham’s ‘six grapes’ reserve

Graham’s Vintage Port 200

Graham’s10, 20, 30 year old Tawny

Colheita single vineyard ‘the Apprentice’1994




Quinta Do Bomfim

The following morning we took the train from Porto Sao Bento following the river. This is a magnificent journey, most scenic after Regua, in the heart of the worlds oldest demarcated wine region. After a short walk from Pinhao train station we arrived at Quinta da Bomfim, one of the many Symington family wineries in the Douro Valley. The Grape harvest had started the day before and we were lucky to see the automated grape treaders in action


 Wines tasted

Altano Branco DOC Douro
Quinta do Ataide DOC Douro
Quinta do Vesuvio DOC Douro

Warres Quinta da Cavadinha vintage 2001
Graham’s Quinta Dos Malvasia Vintage  2004
Dows Quinta Do Bomfim Vintage


Quinta Nova De Nossa Senhora Do Carmo

Only a short 1.2 km ride from Ferrao train station we arrive at Quinta Nova winery hotel. It’s set in a truly stunning location with panoramic views up the river and miles of vineyard paths to explore. The winery on site Dates back to 1764.Their Conceitus Winery restaurant serves some of the best food in the valley. After a refreshing swim in the infinity pool we were ready for dinner with the winemakers selection at Conceitus.







Wines tasted

Pomares Branco 2017 three white Portuguese grape varietals Viosinho Rabigato Gouveio fresh hints tropical fruits

Grainha 2016 Branco Gouveio, Viosinho, Rabigato and Fernão Pires aged 7 months in oak with batonage
More silky smooth texture

Quinta Nova terroir  Reserve 2016 Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinto Cão, Tinta Roriz
 Intense color , aromas of wild berries, cassis and blueberries good concentration.

The wines in general give a big bang for their buck, rich concentrated fruity but with depth and complexity.


Quinta da Roeda

A long term ambition to stomp grapes in the Lagares brought us to Crofts flagship Estate in the Douro. Luckily harvest had started the day before. It’s a short taxi 2km from Pinhao station

A Lagares full of red grapes awaited us.We excitedly immersed ourselves- wonderful, warm, fermenting, squishy sensations underfoot which led to some spontaneous albeit not very synchronized dancing!


I highly recommend a trip to this region. It has everything an oenophile can wish for and more.

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